About 80 researchers from across the globe are participating in a three-day fifth International Ramayana Convention being held at Manas Bhawan in the state capital Bhopal here.
Besides, researchers from around seven countries are presenting their research papers on Ram and Ramayana at the convention that began on Friday (March 17) in the city.
An 80-year-old retired Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) in Madhya Pradesh, Ayodhya Prasad Soni, has also presented his "handwritten" Tulsidas' Ramcharitmanas. It took him over five years to write the entire epic, the retired SDM said
On the occasion, Soni said that after his retirement from the post of SDM of Raisen district, he started devoting his life to writing the Ramcharitmanas with meaning.
Speaking to ANI about the motivation to write the Ramcharitmanas, he said, "As a sculptor makes idols, a poet writes poem and a litterateur writes literature. I had my calligraphy so I have used that. I wanted to write something so that my mark remains and my children remember me."
"I could not write plays, I don't know how to write poems, so what should I write? The written writings that I can remember which can be permanent are only Ramcharitmanas or Gita. As Gita is in Sanskrit there may be mistakes in writing that so I again started writing Ramcharitmanas," he added.
It took over five years to write the Ramcharitmanas of 905 pages. When he started writing, it kept increasing. He automatically knew that it was a new thing, like the number of words in couplets. Like couplets with least words, couplets with most powers and some couplets that contain more words. This is the power, the retired officer said.
Speaking about the political use of Ram and Ramayana, Soni said, "Leaders do not know anything about Ramayana. They want to gain cheap popularity and want to be in the limelight. It is their matter, otherwise, if I can, I will expose such people."
"Ram and Ramayana should not be discussed in politics. We have got more freedom than necessary in India. In other countries, if you speak against the Quran, you will be beheaded. One can keep saying whatever about Ramanaya, the leader wants to get only votes," the retired officer added. (ANI)